Recently, my school underwent a process that allowed all juniors and seniors to preregister for voting as an American citizen. When I found out we would be able to do so, I jumped to my feet and I had a huge smile on my face. I thought to myself, "Finally!"
Voting to me is really important. It's a way to get my voice heard. I'm currently 16, and there's so many issues that I have strong opinions on, both locally and globally. However, since I am underage, I've never been able to vote thus far in my life; the only thing I've been able to do is speak out my opinions and what I believe in through social media and also contact my local representatives through email. For example, I recently wrote to Congressman Ro Khanna about gun control, after the Parkland High School mass shooting incident.
I definitely agree more with the Democratic view rather than the Republican view, and here's why. Here are some of my views about current social problems. As for abortions, I believe that the woman carrying the child should be able to make her own decisions. Up to a certain point, the embryo is not alive. When it comes time that an embryo is able to survive outside of the mother's body (around 5-6) months, THEN it is considered to be alive. This is what I believe. A woman should be able to make the choice that is best for her and have an abortion if desired. It is HER body and she should decide what she wants to do with it.
I do believe in the second amendment, that people should be able to own guns for self protection. However, the second amendment needs to be more limiting. For example, I believe that people should be held to ownership of only a few guns, 3 at most. Who in the world needs a whole collection of guns? Who? Not the average citizen. We also need stricter background checks. These recent shootings have occurred because these UNDERAGE students were able to purchase guns even though they'd had previous altercations with law enforcement. It's outrageous, especially the part where they're underage.
I want better immigration reform. Right now, with Donald Trump as POTUS, immigrants are feeling especially threatened by the American system. Those that are illegally here are deported instead of being helped to gain citizenship. If they are able to successfully find a job and make money in America, they should be able to stay. However, the majority of Republicans are extremely against immigration, and agree with Trump that a border must be built between Mexico and the US.
Onto gay marriage. Republicans are against gay marriage while democrats are for. I really don't see what the problem is with same sex marriage. I get that some people find it "unnatural", or that it "goes against" the Bible, but they need to get over themselves. It's 2018. Society as a whole isn't conservative anymore; it's liberal. People should be allowed to marry anyone they want to marry, with the exception of immediate family, of course (that's just wrong).
I firmly believe that young people should exercise their ability to vote to the fullest potential. Unfortunately, this hasn't been the case so far. Ever since the age to vote has been decreased from 21 to 18, there wasn't much of a change in the total amount of people who vote. It's like most of them don't even care, you know? Obviously, this did change during the 2008 presidential election, where there was an opportunity for the first African American man to become president, Barack Obama. But voting has slowed down once again. I hope to be part of the generation where participation of young people reaches its fullest potential. It's up to us to create our own future.
I'm calling out to my young readers out there. VOTE. If you're not old enough, educate yourself. Make sure you're voting for what you believe in. I still have 2 years before I can actually vote, and I'm waiting eagerly for that time to come.